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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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Healthy Attitude, Healthy Aging

Menopause & Aging Well

I am so delighted to have recently reconnected with a friend from my past.

Our children went to preschool together. Shortly after the end of the school year, Charlotte and her husband, Alan, moved from Connecticut to New Jersey so their two girls could get situated in kindergarten there. Although we were good friends, we lost touch. You know how that goes—young mothers get super-busy and our focuses and priorities shift with our responsibilities. And way back then, there was no Internet or cell phones, which admittedly now make things a whole lot easier on a lot of fronts.

Our children are now inching their way toward their 30s, and Charlotte is about to become a grandmother. The cliché, "Where did the time go?" never felt so apt and so raw.

I won't hog this platform right now—though I easily could, by telling you how wonderful it is when you can pick up almost where you left off. This blog post today belongs to my new-old friend, Charlotte, who has taken a similar path to mine and immersed herself in the health field by becoming a certified holistic health coach and nutritional expert.

Somehow I'm not surprised that our paths would merge, nor am I surprised at Charlotte's infinite wisdom. Here's some advice from Charlotte Hiller:

Do you wonder from time to time how you'll look when you reach 70? Or 75? Do you think about how your health will hold up? Many women worry about getting older. If you haven't given this any thought, good for you! You're probably doing just fine. On the other hand, if these thoughts have passed through your mind, you're also doing fine … you just may be a little curious, wondering how you can possibly impact how your life will unfold.

We all know how important our mind-set is in terms of our overall health. There have been many studies done on individuals with a positive attitude and how that translates to overall good health. So, how can we develop a healthy attitude as we get older? Here are some of my thoughts about that.

Feed Your Mind
Everything you eat becomes YOU. Eating lots of vegetables and some fruit as well as good-quality protein and healthy fats is vital for overall good health. Eating foods of various colors is important for bringing in those antioxidants that clean up those free radicals. And, free radicals damage your cells and accelerate the aging process.
Eating Smart = Thinking Smart!

Keep Hydrated
Water is key to healthy skin and a healthy body. You should drink half your weight in ounces of water. Ex: 120 pounds = 60 ounces of water.

Eat Healthy Fats
Many of my women clients tell me how they were told to stay away from fats because they are not good for them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Healthy fats are ESSENTIAL for good health. And, our brain needs fat! Some good sources are grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil and avocados.

You've heard the term, "Use it or lose it"? Well, when we're inactive or have succumbed to couch potato status, our muscles begin to weaken, causing us to feel lethargic and tired. According to Mark Sisson from Mark's Daily Apple, the human body is designed to conserve precious energy. If you are sedentary, you are sending a clear message to your cells (e.g., your muscles, bones and brain) that they aren't necessary. Your muscles weaken, your bones shed their valuable osseous material—thereby even your mental capacity begins to slowly deteriorate.

Manage Stress
While stress can help us in emergency situations with the release of cortisol, it does not help us when we are chronically stressed. Chronic stress ages us! Do whatever it takes to reduce your stress, whether that means getting rid of toxic relationships, getting off a junk-food diet, quitting smoking or exercising more.

Get Good Sleep
I often talk about sleep because I feel it's one of the most important components to good health. Sleep is crucial for cell repair and regeneration. Try to get 7-8 hours each night. Everything feels better when you get a good night's sleep.

Think Like a Child
Remember the fun you had as a child? Even if you were playing by yourself in the dirt or in your room, you were most likely very happy. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "You're as young as you feel." I like to think, "You're as young as you tell yourself." If you're always complaining about being tired or sick, then you're "tired and sick." Train yourself to think positive thoughts. This is YOUR life. You've earned the privilege to live it with joy and happiness.

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